‘Repatriate Us from Dhaka’: MBBS Students from WB, Tripura, Assam

If others can be taken back then why not us?

My Report
3 min read

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Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

On 9 May, over a hundred stranded Indians returned to Delhi from Dhaka, Bangladesh as part of the government’s massive repatriation exercise. Other Indian citizens from different foreign countries have started returning too.

However, some of us MBBS and BDS students from West Bengal are still stuck in Bangladesh. We are enrolled in different medical colleges in Dhaka. Flights are arranged only for students who are residents of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and J&K. No flights are arranged for us and adjoining states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Tripura, Manipur and Assam.

We appeal to both the central government and the government of West Bengal to open the land border so that we can return home via road if not by air.


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Many students from Delhi, Chennai and Kashmir have gone back, this leaves only us. Every hostel has only 2 to 3 students from West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya Manipal, some Bihar and Jharkhand as well. The campus is absolutely empty.

“My dining hall is closed since the last two months. It is totally vacant. After requesting the principal, the mess is opened for two hours every morning. We take biscuit, bread et al from there, that’s all.”
Priya Vats from Bihar 

We worry for our safety and wish to return home to be with our families. We are all running short of essentials and funds. It is becoming challenging to survive in Dhaka.

Our repeated calls to the government of West Bengal have bore no fruit. We spoke to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka who informed us that the government of West Bengal has shut the land routes.

If others can be taken back then why not us?
A response to students from the Airports Authority of India.
(Photo: Accessed by The Quint)

We were told to communicate with the West Bengal government but have received no response. We reached out on Twitter, via e-mail, and tried to call as well.

“The government of West Bengal hasn’t taken any decision yet. It is our humble request to take one as soon as possible about us and get us home. We are here, like this, since two months and facing a lot of problems. It’s difficult to go and withdraw money from the ATM, food isa problem too. If others can be taken back then why not us?”
Masoom Sayeedi, Student

We request the government of India and other state governments to bring us back and arrange for repatriation. The Air India flight schedule for the next week does not mention any more flights to Dhaka. We also want to come back to our homes as other students.

MEA’s Response to The Quint

Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs have told The Quint that flights in the first phase of repatriation are only to first group of cities.

“The second phase may have flights at other places. But it will depend on the state governments' approval,” the source said.

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Topics:  Dhaka   Bangladesh   COVID-19 

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